Tuesday, 27 June 2006

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik.

I don't normally read fantasy. It's quite funny though when my friends come up to me and ask what's my favourite fantasy book or when they hear I'm writing fiction, they automatically assume I'm writing fantasy. Let me come clean. The only fantasy books I have read are the Chronicles of Narnia (read them when I was 7ish), The Faraway Tree collection (12ish) and the Lord of the Rings (read them right before the first movie came out). Oh, and Harry Potter. And perhaps a little Pratchett now and again.

So you can't really say I'm a huge fantasy fan. I know friends who devour much more fantasy than me. They're the real fantasy fans. Not me. One thing that always turns me off is how fantasy novels always comes in series and almost never stand-alone. No way I'm going to sell my soul to the likes of Robert Jordan.

But! I am willing to commit myself to fantasy series if the setting is a unique take on things. Take Naomi Novik's Temeraire Series. An English captain, during Napoleonic times, finds a Chinese dragon egg on a captured French ship. I was sold when I read that premise.

Blogcritics has a review of the first book in the trilogy:
The book is a rousing and entertaining fusion of historical realities with one of the most enduring mythic images. The interjection of dragons and aerial combat into the Napoleonic Wars is just bizarre enough that it works; Novik's deft development of her characters, especially that of Laurence himself, is largely responsible for this. In many respects the book seems historically accurate, and in keeping with the tradition of writers such as Patrick O'Brian. The fantasy aspects of the story are handled responsibly, and developed with a similar sense of authenticity.
Oh dear! More books to add to the shel... erm... floor. I have no shelf space left.

Additional reading:


  1. But Ted, you submitted to a Sci Fi and Fantasy magazine! You've got to like to read some fantasy!

    I'm a big fantasy reader. Try Hyperion by Dan Simmons. It's part sci fi, part fantasy. And the W'tch War saga (5 books).

  2. Haha... yeah, I know! It's a little ironic huh? Actually, I think I probably read a lot of fantasy, but since my peers are light-years ahead of me on the fantasy-reading scale, and next to them what I've read seems so miniscule.

    I think I most likely operate on a different reading scale than the casual reader.

    Casual Reader (reads a lot of books) > Me (reads a lot of books, some fantasy) > My hardcore peers (reads a LOT of fantasy)

    Anyways, my story's not really fantasy in the traditional sense. It's not sci-fi either... and I hesitate to call it a space-opera. In fact, I think the closest genre I can shoehorn it into is Humour! :D

    Thanks for the recommendations! I'll be sure to check them out.


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